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Tracheostomy Patient Family Advisory Council

Graphic of four hands reaching for a heart and the words: PFAC patient family advisory council TRACHEOSTOMY

The Tracheostomy Patient and Family Advisory Council focuses on improving the hospital and community experience for children with trachs and their families. Our members are current and former trach parents that have a drive to build community support for these special needs families.


  • Hosted the 2nd annual Trach Family Day in June 2019 with the theme “Every hero has a story”
    • Fox 4 News provided TV coverage
  • Held the first Tracheostomy Program T-shirt fundraiser
    • Raised over $1000 to support Trach Family Day 2020
  • Started hosting a monthly question and answer session for parents
    • They meet on the 4th Thursday of every month from 6-7pm;
    • A time for new parents and caregivers to talk to other trach parents/caregivers
  • Partnered with St. Louis Children’s Hospital to advocate at the capitol in Jefferson City, MO
  • Created an Educational display to present to Global Tracheostomy Committee
    • The display highlighted questions and answers related to tracheostomies, patient stories, and education taught at Children’s Mercy
    • Provided continued feedback for the overall growth of the Tracheostomy Program

Contact Us

Emily Keeven

Kylie Higley
Parent Support Program Coordinator

Laura Miller
Coordinator, Patient and Family Engagement


If you have read through the bylaws and feel like this committee would be a good fit for you, please fill out an application.



The Tracheostomy Patient Family Advisory Council will work in partnership with the Children’s Mercy Tracheostomy Family Preparedness Quality Improvement Committee as well as the Tracheostomy Program to advocate on behalf of patients and families for the best quality of care. The council will influence policies and procedures, enhance communication and expand education for patients, families, staff and the community.


Meetings will be held at a Children’s Mercy location. Agenda for the meeting will be sent out with information about location of meeting one week prior to scheduled date. Minutes of the meeting will be sent out one week after held meeting. Goal of attendance would be to have a minimum of 6 members at each meeting, in person or on the phone. If you are unable to attend a meeting in person or by phone we ask you give notice to the staff facilitator that you will be unable to attend for courtesy of the council.

Member expectations

Prospective members will be required to complete an application to be eligible for a member position on the council. A background check will be mandatory after application has been accepted and at the beginning of each new term. Each member will go through orientation for Children’s Mercy policies and expectations.

Members will:

  • Consist of a maximum of 18 parents/caregivers of current/former trach patients and a minimum of 7.

  • Serve a minimum of one term and have the option to serve unlimited terms. Each term is 2 years.

  • Be an action oriented group with expectations of time investment outside of the meetings.

  • Respectfully listen and tactfully discuss ideas, issues and concerns.

  • Respect the privacy and confidentiality of other council members, Trach patients/families and all staff.

  • Serve as advisory resource to administration and staff of the Tracheostomy Family Preparedness Quality Improvement Committee and Tracheostomy Program.

  • Advocate for the development of programs to improve the quality of care.

  • Assist in development and review of educational materials.

  • Help create and strengthen community awareness.

  • RSVP to monthly meeting reminders from the staff facilitator.

  • Attend 50% of meetings by phone or in person.

Children’s Mercy has the right to dismiss any member for lack of respect or confidentiality to the council, Children’s Mercy staff and patients.

Staff facilitators - Tracheostomy Program Coordinator, Family Care Center Assistant for Tracheostomy Program. Leader of meetings and spokesman of council. Organizes and plans agenda and oversees project development. Gives updates to appropriate committees and hospital organizations. In January, they will represent the Trach PFAC at the Annual Family Advisory Council.

Co-Chairs - Volunteer members of the council. Assist in planning for and facilitating monthly meetings and engagements outside of meetings (e.g. Trach Family Day, Ronald McDonald Dinner.)

Children’s Mercy staff cannot vote on issues within the council or on officer positions.

Bylaws will be reviewed on a regular basis once Council is fully functioning. Any articles of these bylaws may be added, deleted or amended by majority of the vote.

Tracheostomy Programs

The Infant Tracheostomy and Home Ventilator Program helps babies who need prolonged ventilator assistance to live at home while still receiving the respiratory support they need.

The Pediatric Tracheostomy and Home Ventilation Clinic at Children’s Mercy brings together all your child’s breathing specialists—pulmonologist, ENT and respiratory therapist—in one place. 

Parents Offering Parent Support (POPS)

Children's Mercy offers a program called Parents Offering Parent Support (POPS), a network of trained parent volunteers who mentor other parents through the challenges of their child's health condition. Click the button below to learn more about requesting the support of a mentor or becoming a mentor yourself.